Home » Governance » Thousands Bid Farewell to Hero Zingoni

national hero Brigadier-General John Zingoni got a befitting send-off yesterday with thousands of people converging at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare to bid him farewell.Brig-Gen Zingoni (60), whose Chimurenga name was Tichatonga Broker Chiwawa, died from a heart ailment last Friday at Thornhill Air Base Hospital in Gweru.

Proceedings started at Stodart Hall, Mbare where hundreds of people gathered to pay their last respects.

People started gathering there at 7am, while many others lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the hearse bearing the hero’s body as

Zanu-PF youths clad in party regalia and the Mbare Chimurenga Choir sang revolutionary songs.

Acting President Joice Mujuru led the body-viewing procession.

Choral groups and the police band celebrated the life of the freedom fighter with song and dance.

Placards and banners praising Brig-Gen Zingoni’s contribution to Zimbabwe’s development were posted around the national shrine.

Some of them read: “Zororai Murugare Mhofu Murapi Mukuru”, “Go well son of the soil”, and “A brave and dedicated cadre”.

At around 11am, the gun carriage bearing Brig-Gen Zingoni’s body arrived at the Heroes Acre, accompanied by Acting President Mujuru’s entourage.

Buhera South National Assembly legislator Cde Joseph Chinotimba grabbed attention when he rose from where dignitaries were seated and joined Zanu-PF supporters in dancing to gospel tunes.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa described Cde Zingoni’s demise as “premature”.

“His commitment to his country was unquestionable and these are the kind of people you would want to have in leadership, but prematurely he has passed on,” he said.

Minister Mnangagwa said Brig-Gen Zingoni always exuded confidence and “was one of those cadres in the frontline commanding a battalion”.

“We again met up during the Congo campaign although I was not directly involved as I was the then Minister of Justice. Again, he was one of the field front-line commanders.”

Major-Gen (Retired) Gibson Mashingaidze described Brig-Gen Zingoni as a “serious disciplinarian” with a passion in education.

“I worked with him when he was undergoing training at Chimoio and I caught up with him at Five Brigade,” he said. “He used to urge juniors to further their education and would regularly check on their progress in education.”

(Rtd) Brig-Gen Killian Gwanetsa, the Chiredzi South legislator, said Masvingo had been robbed of a hard worker, while family representative Mr Tungamirai Zingoni said Brig-Gen Zingoni was a unifier.

Cde Zingoni was born on August 27, 1954 in Chief Mapanzure’s area in Masvingo.

He went to Musingarabwi Primary School and Chikato Secondary School up to ZJC, between 1969 and 1970.

Cde Zingoni joined the liberation struggle in 1976 when he crossed into Mozambique and joined ZANLA cadres in Machipanda.

He worked at Doroi Refugee Camp where he attended medical lessons at Doroi and worked at the local hospital.

He trained at Chimoio under the leadership of Cde Chocha, who is now Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri.

Brig-Gen Zingoni worked in the Takawira Sector and at Independence, was sent to the Democratic Republic of Korea for an Infantry Commanders Course.

He was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 as a private soldier and appointed equivalent captain.

He was elevated to the position of general staff officer (grade three) at Headquarters 5 Infantry Brigade.

He became Commanding Officer 5.2 Infantry Battalion in 1985 and then lieutenant-colonel in 1986. He rose through the ranks to brigadier-general in 2000, and he was appointed director operations at the SADC Task Force headquarters in Kinshasa, DRC.

He was awarded various medals during his illustrious career. He is survived by his wife Wadzanai and three children.

Source : The Herald